07/03/2018 06:24 SAST | Updated 07/03/2018 07:00 SAST

WTF! Triathlete Brutally Attacked With Chainsaw

Mhlengi Gwala is recovering in hospital after robbers tried to hack off his legs.

Mhlengi Gwala (L).

Triathlete Mhlengi Gwala was badly injured when robbers attacked him with a chainsaw on Tuesday morning, News24 reported. Gwala was reportedly training near the University of KwaZulu-Natal on Tuesday morning at around 3.15am when he was approached by three men and dragged into the bushes.

His athletic sponsor, Sue de la Porte told News24 that Gwala offered the robbers his cellphone and money, but they pinned him down and tried to saw off his leg.

"He is very badly injured. We've just spoken to the plastic surgeon and he is currently in the surgical ward," she reportedly said.

The 27-year-old athlete managed to drag himself to safety after the attack, TimesLive reported.

The motive behind the attack is not clear. Director of the Elite Athlete Development Programme which Gwala is part of, Dennis Jackson, told TimesLive that the motive is a mystery.

"I haven't quite got to grips with exactly what happened. It seems like they pulled him into a bush while he was on a training ride. They had a chainsaw and went for one of his legs‚ which is the concerning part.

"We don't yet know how far they went in‚ whether they were trying to cut it off‚ or what the circumstances are. All we know is that Mhlengi is alive‚ he is talking and that he is under medical care.

"We don't have the whole story as yet."

He reportedly said Gwala is none the wiser as to why the attackers left.

Fellow athlete Henri Schoeman shared the news on Twitter.

There was an outpouring of outrage and support for Gwala on social media on Tuesday.